A Guide To Car Seats
A car seat in an important purchase and needs to be carefully thought about before a decision is made as not every car seat fits every car.
At Baby & Co we only stock quality car seats from Britax, BeSafe, Cybex, Maxi Cosi, Recaro, Kiddy and more. Through are 30 plus years of experience we are able to provide the right advice and guidance to help you choose the best car seat for you.
All our staff are experienced car seat fitters and have received training by the product trainers of the brands that we stock. In addition to that we continue to provide in house training and develop to our staff on a regular basis to ensure they are knowledgeable and well practiced on all our baby and child car seats.
Our Fitting Service
Although all members of staff can offer advice and fitting of our car seats we do recommend that you make an appointment to ensure a member of staff is available for you, particularly for rear facing car seats where consultation and fitting can take some time.
We disagree that the retailer should fit a car seat and send the customer on their way, this philosophy doesn't help the customer. We have an eight stage process to ensure the customer receives the best service and advice.
- Firstly, depending on the type of car seat the customer requires we either weigh or measure (i-Size) the child to sure we can recommend the correct class of car seat.
- Then we find out about the vehicle or vehicles where the car seat will be used. The sort of information we need to know is make, model, year and whether ISOFIX is available in the car
- Only now are we able to make some specific car seat recommendations. Where possible we use manufacturer approval lists to identify whether a seat is suitable for a vehicle. When this is not available we perform our own fitting checks to ensure compatibility.
- We have an in store demonstration vehicle seat (demo rig) which we are able to demonstrate the car seat features and fitting training.
- Once the customer has his or her short list we then move on to in car fitting. Although car seat approval lists are really useful we always prefer to double check ourselves to ensure compatibility. We fit the car seat or seats giving instruction to the customer so they lean how to fit the car seat correctly.
- A car seat is chosen which offers the best balance between suitability, safety and ease of use.
- We adjust the harness where applicable so the seat fits correctly and offer any further training on seat adjustment
- Customers fit their car seat under our supervision. In our opinion this one one of the most important points. There are a few reasons we like to do this:
- Firstly we feel customers learn better through doing than being shown.
- We can identify areas that we might have missed or not covered in enough detail.
- Our objective is that the customer leaves us knowing how to use their car seat as well as us.
Ultimately car seat and vehicle safety is the responsibility of the parent. We are here to offer advice, training and best practice to ensure safety for all.
For any of our customers we offer free car seat safety checks and training refresher sessions, so if you have refitted your seat or moved it to another vehicle and feel you would like it checked drop by and we would be happy to spend some time with you to ensure your seat is safe and secure.
Car Seat Types
Car seats are grouped either by weight (R44/04) or by height (R129 i-Size). At the time of writing there are two concurrent regulations. Over time the previous R44/04 regulation will expire and the new R129 will replace it. However this will be done over many years and car seats to the previous standard will still be legal to use.
So lets give you a brief run through of all the groups by weight first.
This group starts from birth through to 10kgs. In the past there were infant carriers in this group but nowadays infant carriers are all 0+. The main carseat that carries a group 0 label is lie flat car seats or carrycots that can be used in a car. One of the best example of this is the Britax BabySafe Sleeper.
This group refers to infant carriers. Infant carriers start from birth and go right through until 13kgs. Lots of customers ask us how long should an infant carrier last? Well your two main guides would be exceeding the maximum weight of 13kgs or the head exceeding the top of the car seat. There is no need to worry if the feet exceed the bottom of the infant carrier. Its better to stay rear facing for as long as possible.
This combination car seat is suitable from birth up to 18kgs, although you would still look to rear face until 13kgs. There are a few different examples of a 0+1 car seat. This could be like the Britax First Class which allows you to rear face to 13kgs then forward face from 9-18kgs. Or some of the extended rear facing car seats have a 0+1 classification, like the Cybex Sirona or the Britax Dualfix
This group covers your traditional forward facing car seat and starts at 9kgs through to 18kgs. In this group there are many different types of forward facing car seat including ISOFIX, belted installation both with five-point harness or impact shield like seats from Kiddy and Cybex.
This is another combination carseat. Starting from 9kgs to 25kgs. Quite an uncommon group and used mainly in extended rear facing car seats like the Britax Multi-Tech 2 and Max-Way. Although there are some forward facing car seats for children with special needs from companies like Britax.
This is a popular classification for parents. This combination car seat starts at 9kgs and goes through until 36kgs. So starts off as a forward facing car seat and once the child reaches 18kgs the harness or impact shield is removed and the seat turns into a highback booster from 15-36kgs. Great examples of this are the Britax Evolva, or the Kiddy Guardian Pro 2 or Guardianfix Pro 2
This group refers to highback booster seats from 15-36kgs. We do not sell booster cushions, without a back, as they do not offer any side impact protection. So all our group 2-3 car seats have a back to them
I hope this run down of the main car seat groups was helpful? For any more information or to discuss your car seat requirements, visit or store in Bristol or call us on 0117 986 8184